Why do girls pretend to be boys in Afghanistan?

Some live as boys for years.

If you can't change the society you live in, you might have to adapt by using deception (or more accurately, your female children might have to adapt):
For economic and social reasons, many Afghan parents want to have a son. This preference has led to some of them practising the long-standing tradition of Bacha Posh - disguising girls as boys.

When Azita Rafhat, a former member of the Afghan parliament, gets her daughters ready for school, she dresses one of the girls differently.

Three of her daughters are clothed in white garments and their heads covered with white scarves, but a fourth girl, Mehrnoush, is dressed in a suit and tie. When they get outside, Mehrnoush is no longer a girl but a boy named Mehran.

Azita Rafhat didn't have a son, and to fill the gap and avoid people's taunts for not having a son, she opted for this radical decision. It was very simple, thanks to a haircut and some boyish clothes.

There is even a name for this tradition in Afghanistan - Bacha Posh, or disguising girls as boys.
Read the article: The Afghan girls who live as boys, BBC News Magazine>>

Another, longer article at The New York Times: Afghan Boys Are Prized, So Girls Live the Part>>

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